EFF confirm religious dimension to conflict in Israel/Palestine

WITHOUT any hint of irony, a press statement issued by political party, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) asserts: “History informs us the Temple Mount /Haram el Sharif is one of the most sensitive sites in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in that ‘the hilltop site is the most sacred place in Judaism and the third holiest site in Islam and that the entire compound is considered to be Al-Aqsa Mosque by Muslims.'”

The statement condemns Israel Minister Itamar ben Gavir’s recent visit to the holy site in what the party claims is the ‘unlawfully annexed East Jerusalem city of Palestine”.

The EFF should be aware that South Africa’s constitution enshrines religious freedom within a secular framework, and that supporting discrimination on the basis of religion is contrary to article 15 Freedom of Religion, Belief and Opinion, in particular protection of religious observances, as well as other rights such as freedom of movement and right to assemble peacefully.

The dispute over the final status of Jerusalem predates the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which both sides lay claim to East Jerusalem. Jordan occupied East Jerusalem from 1948-1967, when it was annexed by Israel following the 6-day war resulting from the mass mobilisation of armies in neighbouring Arab States of Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

Prior to 1948 the ‘corpus separatum‘ (Latin for “separated body”) was the internationalization proposal for Jerusalem and its surrounding area as part of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly with a two-thirds majority in November 1947.

According to the Partition Plan, the city of Jerusalem would be brought under international governance, conferring it a special status due to its shared importance for the Abrahamic religions.

The corpus separatum was one of the main issues of the Lausanne Conference of 1949.

SEE: Everything you know about the Palestinian Struggle is wrong

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